Gene Kelly
dancer, actor, singer, director, producer, and choreographer
Gene Kelly
For people named Jean Kelly, see Jean Kelly. Gene Kelly File:Gene kelly. jpgKelly in 1943. Born Eugene Curran KellyTemplate:Safesubst:August 23, 1912(1912-08-23)Template:Safesubst:Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Disappeared Template:Safesubst: Template:Safesubst:Died February 2, 1996(1996-02-02) (aged 83)Template:Safesubst:Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Biography
Gene Kelly's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Gene Kelly
News
News abour Gene Kelly from around the web
The Dark and Stormy Mixtape - WNYC
Google News - over 5 years
Track 3: "Singin' in the Rain by Gene Kelly – Gene Kelly was one of the directors, leads and choreographers of the 1952 film classic "Singin' in the Rain." And of course, he makes rain sound wonderful with lyrics like: "I'm laughing at clouds/So dark
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Middle School Fun Night Tonight - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
On this day in 1912, actor Gene Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is best known for his performances in Singin' in the Rain and An American in Paris. Today is International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
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The Week in Preview: One of Gene Kelly's less celebrated films was 1980's ... - Nashua Telegraph
Google News - over 5 years
Dancer Eugene Curran Kelly, better known to audiences as Gene Kelly, was born there today in 1912. Kelly's mother signed him up for dance lessons at the age of eight. He resented his new hobby, not least because he had to defend himself against his
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Springfield burglar sentenced to 66½ years in prison - Springfield News Sun
Google News - over 5 years
SPRINGFIELD — Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said law enforcement sent a message that property crimes are taken seriously after a Springfield man was sentenced to serve more than
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SFist Tonight, 8/7: Gene Kelly Double Feature, Turtle Island Quartet, Vinyl Swap - SFist
Google News - over 5 years
FILM: The Castro Theatre presents a Gene Kelly Double Feature screening of An American in Paris, starring Kelly as a former GI who stays in Paris to make it as an artist, and It's Always Fair Weather, featuring "three Army buddies whose post-war
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JOSEPHINE BONCZEK NOWICKI - Times Herald-Record
Google News - over 5 years
... Jim, John Pierce, William Pierce, and special friend, Gary Valentine and James Moser; great grandchildren: Rose, Dimitri, Jimmy, Gene, Kelly, Dalton, Ashley, Emily, Casey, Brooke, Athena, Richie, Cindy, Tara, and Casey; several nieces and nephews
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VVS Laxman is the latest standard bearer for the Golden Age - The Guardian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Mahela Jayawardene and Ian Bell have both produced a series of scintillating innings, the former in the limited overs game, Bell in Tests, when their combination of Gene Kelly footwork, Pinball-Wizard supple wrists and gorgeous timing have given us a
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Singin' In The Rain (review) - Leighton Buzzard Today
Google News - over 5 years
The Hollywood version of Comden and Green's story about the advent of talkies, which starred Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner and Debbie Reynolds, holds a special place in the heart of everyone who has ever loved classic musicals
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Clark County Cracking Down On Arson - WHIO Dayton
Google News - over 5 years
Sheriff Gene Kelly said that all seven fires happened within a half-mile of each other. Increased patrols led to the arrests of a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old who have since confessed to no less than three of the fires. The string of fires started on
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Debbie Reynolds compares Utah dancer Tadd Gadduang to Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire - Salt Lake Tribune (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Guest judge/Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds compared Gadduang to Fred Astaire and her "Singing In the Rain" co-star, Gene Kelly. "You were just as wonderful as they" were, she said. Of course, Guaddang and Casanova also got heaps of praise from the
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Gene Kelly
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1996
    Age 83
    He died in his sleep at 8:15 a.m. on February 2, 1996, and was cremated, without funeral or memorial services.
    More Details Hide Details Kelly appeared as actor and dancer in the following musical films. He always choreographed his own dance routines and often the dance routines of others and used assistants. As was the practice at the time, he was rarely formally credited in the film titles:
  • 1994
    Age 81
    A stroke in July 1994 resulted in a seven-week hospital stay and another stroke in early 1995 left Kelly mostly bedridden in his Beverly Hills home.
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  • 1990
    Age 77
    He was married to Patricia Ward from 1990 until his death in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Kelly was a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party. His period of greatest prominence coincided with the McCarthy era in the U.S. In 1947, he was part of the Committee for the First Amendment, the Hollywood delegation that flew to Washington to protest at the first official hearings by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. His first wife, Betsy Blair, was suspected of being a Communist sympathizer and when United Artists, who had offered Blair a part in Marty (1955), were considering withdrawing her under pressure from the American Legion, Kelly successfully threatened MGM's influence on United Artists with a pullout from It's Always Fair Weather unless his wife was restored to the part. He used his position on the board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, West on a number of occasions to mediate disputes between unions and the Hollywood studios.
  • 1985
    Age 72
    In 1985 Kelly served as executive producer and co-host of That's Dancing! – a celebration of the history of dance in the American musical.
    More Details Hide Details Kelly's final on-screen appearance was to introduce That's Entertainment! III. His final film project was in 1994 for the animated film Cats Don't Dance, released in 1997 and dedicated to him, on which Kelly acted as an uncredited choreographic consultant. When he began his collaborative film work, he was influenced by Robert Alton and John Murray Anderson, striving to create moods and character insight with his dances. He choreographed his own movement, along with that of the ensemble, with the assistance of Jeanne Coyne, Stanley Donen, Carol Haney and Alex Romero. He experimented with lighting, camera techniques and special effects in order to achieve true integration of dance with film, and was one of the first to use split screens, double images, live action with animation and is credited as the person who made the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.
  • 1980
    Age 67
    Kelly continued to make frequent TV appearances and, in 1980, appeared in an acting and dancing role with Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu (1980)—an expensive theatrical flop that has since attained a cult following.
    More Details Hide Details In Kelly's opinion, "The concept was marvelous but it just didn't come off." In the same year, he was invited by Francis Ford Coppola to recruit a production staff for American Zoetrope's One from the Heart (1982). Although Coppola's ambition was for him to establish a production unit to rival the Freed Unit at MGM, the film's failure put an end to this idea.
  • 1977
    Age 64
    In 1977, Kelly starred in the poorly received action film Viva Knievel, with the popular stuntman, Evel Knievel.
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  • 1974
    Age 61
    Then, in 1974, he appeared as one of many special narrators in the surprise hit of the year That's Entertainment!
    More Details Hide Details He subsequently directed and co-starred with his friend Fred Astaire in the sequel That's Entertainment, Part II (1976). It was a measure of his powers of persuasion that he managed to coax the 77-year-old Astaire – who had insisted that his contract rule out any dancing, having long since retired—into performing a series of song and dance duets, evoking a powerful nostalgia for the glory days of the American musical film.
  • 1973
    Age 60
    He remained married to Coyne until her death in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details They had two children, Timothy (b. 1962) and Bridget (b. 1964).
    In 1973, he worked again with Frank Sinatra as part of Sinatra's Emmy nominated TV special, Magnavox Presents Frank Sinatra.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1970
    Age 57
    In 1970, he made another TV special: Gene Kelly and 50 Girls and was invited to bring the show to Las Vegas, Nevada—which he did for an eight-week stint on the condition he be paid more than any artist had ever been paid there.
    More Details Hide Details He directed veteran actors James Stewart and Henry Fonda in the comedy western The Cheyenne Social Club (1970) which performed poorly at the box-office.
  • 1965
    Age 52
    He joined 20th Century Fox in 1965, but had little to do—partly due to his decision to decline assignments away from Los Angeles for family reasons.
    More Details Hide Details His perseverance finally paid off, with the major box-office hit A Guide for the Married Man (1967) where he directed Walter Matthau. Then, a major opportunity arose when Fox – buoyed by the returns from The Sound of Music (1965) – commissioned Kelly to direct Hello, Dolly! (1969), again directing Matthau along with Barbra Streisand. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won three.
  • 1963
    Age 50
    In 1963, Kelly joined Universal Pictures for a two-year stint.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1962
    Age 49
    In 1962 he directed Jackie Gleason in Gigot in Paris, but the film was drastically re-cut by Seven Arts Productions and flopped.
    More Details Hide Details Another French effort, Jacques Demy's homage to the MGM musical, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), in which Kelly appeared, was popular in France and nominated for Academy Awards for Best Music and Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation), but performed poorly elsewhere. He appeared as himself in George Cukor's Let's Make Love (1960). He was asked to direct the film version of The Sound of Music, which had been previously turned down by Stanley Donen. He escorted Ernest Lehman out of his house saying "Go find someone else to direct this piece of shit." His first foray into television was a documentary for NBC's Omnibus, Dancing is a Man's Game (1958), where he assembled a group of America's greatest sportsmen – including Mickey Mantle, Sugar Ray Robinson and Bob Cousy – and re-interpreted their moves choreographically, as part of his lifelong quest to remove the effeminate stereotype of the art of dance, while articulating the philosophy behind his dance style. It gained an Emmy nomination for choreography and now stands as the key document explaining Kelly's approach to modern dance.
  • 1960
    Age 47
    In 1960 Kelly married his choreographic assistant Jeanne Coyne, who had divorced Stanley Donen in 1949 after a brief marriage.
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    Kelly continued to make some film appearances, such as Hornbeck in the 1960 Hollywood production of Inherit the Wind.
    More Details Hide Details However, most of his efforts were now concentrated on film production and directing.
    Early in 1960, Kelly, an ardent Francophile and fluent French speaker, was invited by A. M. Julien, the general administrator of the Paris Opéra and Opéra-Comique, to select his own material and create a modern ballet for the company, the first time an American had received such an assignment.
    More Details Hide Details The result was Pas de Dieux, based on Greek mythology, combined with the music of George Gershwin's Concerto in F. It was a major success, and led to his being honored with the Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur by the French Government.
  • 1958
    Age 45
    In 1958, he directed Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical play Flower Drum Song.
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  • 1953
    Age 40
    When Kelly returned to Hollywood in 1953, the film musical was already beginning to feel the pressures from television, and MGM cut the budget for his next picture Brigadoon (1954), with Cyd Charisse, forcing him to make the film on studio back lots instead of on location in Scotland.
    More Details Hide Details This year also saw him appear as guest star with his brother Fred in the celebrated I Love to Go Swimmin' with Wimmen routine in Deep in My Heart. MGM's refusal to loan him out for Guys and Dolls and Pal Joey put further strains on his relationship with the studio. He negotiated an exit to his contract which involved making three further pictures for MGM. The first of these, It's Always Fair Weather (1956) co-directed with Donen, was a musical satire on television and advertising, and includes his famous roller skate dance routine to I Like Myself, and a dance trio with Michael Kidd and Dan Dailey that Kelly used to experiment with the widescreen possibilities of Cinemascope. MGM had lost faith in Kelly's box-office appeal, and as a result It's Always Fair Weather "premiered" at seventeen drive-in theatres around the Los Angeles metroplex. Next followed Kelly's last musical film for MGM, Les Girls (1957), in which he partnered a trio of leading ladies, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall and Taina Elg. It too sold few movie tickets. The third picture he completed was a co-production between MGM and himself, a cheapie B-film, The Happy Road, set in his beloved France, his first foray in a new role as producer-director-actor. After leaving MGM, Kelly returned to stage work.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1951
    Age 38
    At the peak of his creative powers, Kelly made what in retrospect some see as a mistake. In December 1951, he signed a contract with MGM that sent him to Europe for nineteen months to use MGM funds frozen in Europe to make three pictures while personally benefiting from tax exemptions.
    More Details Hide Details Only one of these pictures was a musical, Invitation to the Dance, a pet project of Kelly's to bring modern ballet to mainstream film audiences. It was beset with delays and technical problems, and flopped when finally released in 1956.
  • 1946
    Age 33
    After Kelly returned to Hollywood in 1946, MGM had nothing planned and used him in a routine, black-and-white movie: Living in a Big Way.
    More Details Hide Details The film was considered so weak that the studio asked Kelly to design and insert a series of dance routines, and they noticed his ability to carry off such assignments. This led to a lead part in his next picture, with Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli— a musical film version of S.N. Behrman's play, The Pirate, with songs by Cole Porter, in which Kelly plays the lead. The Pirate gave full rein to Kelly's athleticism. It is also notable for Kelly's work with The Nicholas Brothers – the leading black dancers of their day – in a virtuoso dance routine. Now regarded as a classic, the film was ahead of its time, but flopped at the box-office. MGM wanted Kelly to return to safer and more commercial vehicles, but he ceaselessly fought for an opportunity to direct his own musical film. In the interim, he capitalized on his swashbuckling image as d'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers—and also appeared with Vera-Ellen in the Slaughter on Tenth Avenue ballet in Words and Music (1948). He was due to play the male lead opposite Garland in Easter Parade (1948), but broke his ankle playing volleyball. He withdrew from the film and convinced Fred Astaire to come out of retirement to replace him. There followed Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), his second film with Sinatra, where Kelly paid tribute to his Irish heritage in The Hat My Father Wore on St. Patrick's Day routine.
  • 1944
    Age 31
    In Ziegfeld Follies (1946) – which was produced in 1944 but not released until 1946 – Kelly collaborated with Fred Astaire, for whom he had the greatest admiration, in the famous "The Babbitt and the Bromide" challenge dance routine.
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    At the end of 1944, Kelly enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air Service and was commissioned as lieutenant junior grade.
    More Details Hide Details He was stationed in the Photographic Section, Washington D.C., where he was involved in writing and directing a range of documentaries, and this stimulated his interest in the production side of film-making. In Kelly's next film, Anchors Aweigh (1945), MGM gave him a free hand to devise a range of dance routines—including a celebrated animated dance with Jerry Mouse, and his duets with co-star Frank Sinatra. The iconic performance was enough for Manny Farber to completely reverse his previous assessment of Kelly's skills. Reviewing the film, Farber enthused, "Kelly is the most exciting dancer to appear in Hollywood movies." Anchors Aweigh became one of the most successful films of 1945 and it garnered Kelly his first and only Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1941
    Age 28
    Offers from Hollywood began to arrive, but Kelly was in no hurry to leave New York. Eventually, he signed with David O. Selznick, agreeing to go to Hollywood at the end of his commitment to Pal Joey, in October 1941.
    More Details Hide Details Prior to his contract, he also managed to fit in choreographing the stage production of Best Foot Forward. Selznick sold half of Kelly's contract to MGM for his first motion picture: For Me and My Gal (1942) starring box-office champion Judy Garland. Kelly claimed to be "appalled at the sight of myself blown up twenty times. I had an awful feeling that I was a tremendous flop." For Me and My Gal performed very well and, in the face of much internal resistance, Arthur Freed of MGM picked up the other half of Kelly's contract. After appearing in a cheap B-movie drama, Pilot No. 5 (1943) and in Christmas Holiday (1944), he took the male lead in Cole Porter's Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) opposite Lucille Ball (in a part originally intended for Ann Sothern). His first opportunity to dance to his own choreography came in his next picture, Thousands Cheer (1943), where he performed a mock-love dance with a mop.
    He began dating a cast member, Betsy Blair, and they got married on October 16, 1941.
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    Kelly married actress Betsy Blair in 1941. They had one child, Kerry (b. 1942), and divorced in April 1957.
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  • 1940
    Age 27
    In 1940 he got the lead role in Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, again choreographed by Robert Alton.
    More Details Hide Details This role propelled him to stardom. During its run he told reporters: "I don't believe in conformity to any school of dancing. I create what the drama and the music demand. While I am a hundred percent for ballet technique, I use only what I can adapt to my own use. I never let technique get in the way of mood or continuity." His colleagues at this time noticed his great commitment to rehearsal and hard work. Van Johnson—who also appeared in Pal Joey—recalled: "I watched him rehearsing, and it seemed to me that there was no possible room for improvement. Yet he wasn't satisfied. It was midnight and we had been rehearsing since eight in the morning. I was making my way sleepily down the long flight of stairs when I heard staccato steps coming from the stage I could see just a single lamp burning. Under it, a figure was dancing Gene."
  • 1939
    Age 26
    Kelly's first big breakthrough was in the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Time of Your Life, which opened on October 25, 1939—in which, for the first time on Broadway, he danced to his own choreography.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year he received his first assignment as a Broadway choreographer, for Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe.
    In 1939, he was selected for a musical revue, One for the Money, produced by the actress Katharine Cornell, who was known for finding and hiring talented young actors.
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  • 1938
    Age 25
    His first Broadway assignment, in November 1938, was as a dancer in Cole Porter's Leave It to Me!
    More Details Hide Details —as the American ambassador's secretary who supports Mary Martin while she sings My Heart Belongs to Daddy. He had been hired by Robert Alton, who had staged a show at the Pittsburgh Playhouse where he was impressed by Kelly's teaching skills. When Alton moved on to choreograph One for the Money he hired Kelly to act, sing, and dance in eight routines.
    After a fruitless search for work in New York, Kelly returned to Pittsburgh to his first position as a choreographer with the Charles Gaynor musical revue Hold Your Hats at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in April 1938.
    More Details Hide Details Kelly appeared in six of the sketches, one of which, La Cumparsita, became the basis of an extended Spanish number in the film Anchors Aweigh (film) eight years later.
  • 1937
    Age 24
    In 1937, having successfully managed and developed the family's dance school business, he finally did move to New York City in search of work as a choreographer.
    More Details Hide Details Kelly returned to Pittsburgh, to his family home at 7514 Kensington Street by 1940, and worked as a theatrical actor.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1931
    Age 18
    In 1931 he was approached by the Rodef Shalom synagogue in Pittsburgh to teach dance, and to stage the annual Kermess.
    More Details Hide Details This venture was successful enough that they retained his services for seven years, until he departed for New York. Kelly eventually decided to pursue a career as a dance teacher and full-time entertainer, so he dropped out of law school after two months. He began to increasingly focus on performing, and later claimed: "With time I became disenchanted with teaching because the ratio of girls to boys was more than ten to one, and once the girls reached sixteen the dropout rate was very high."
    In 1931, Kelly enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh to study economics, joining the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.
    More Details Hide Details He became involved in the university's Cap and Gown Club, which staged original musical productions. After graduating in 1933, he continued to be active with the Cap and Gown Club, serving as the director from 1934 to 1938. Kelly was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh Law School. His family opened a dance studio in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 1932, they renamed it The Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance and opened a second location in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1933. Kelly served as a teacher at the studio during his undergraduate and law student years at Pitt.
  • 1929
    Age 16
    He entered Pennsylvania State College as a journalism major, but the 1929 crash forced him to work to help his family.
    More Details Hide Details He created dance routines with his younger brother Fred to earn prize money in local talent contests. They also performed in local nightclubs.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1912
    Born
    Born on August 23, 1912.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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